Standing Tall as an Agent of Integrity
Your word and reputation are everything in this world. Power Agents serve with integrity!
By Real Estate Coach and Speaker Darryl Davis, CSP
Last month, I had one of our Power Agents® come to me with a dilemma, and I wanted to share it with everyone because it really speaks to a lot of things that we try to focus on — serving our clients and being agents of integrity.
This Power Agent® had a buyer who put in an offer on a home but couldn’t go in to look until after the renters had moved out. Now, the listing agent must not have gone through the property before listing it, because there was some severe damage at the back of the home. They had some water damage to the foundation, and some of the floor joists had rotted.
The buyers were still interested, and when she went back for a second inspection, the owner had put up a big piece of trim to hide the damage from the buyers, the agents, and the appraiser.
The Bigger Problem
The damage was not listed in the home inspection report, and is now a latent defect because it’s hidden, and she wanted to know how to alert the others involved in the transaction to this issue. When she spoke to the listing agent after sending the home inspection report, he said that he never saw the damage, and he never looks at the report, just sends it to the seller. It was clear that he had never been to the property before he listed it.
Now… I have had a similar experience when looking at an investment property. If anyone knows about bamboo, you know its disruptive and invasive. You have to kill it at the root, or it just keeps coming back. The owner tried to cover up the bamboo damage that had been done to the cement and foundation, but we caught it before putting in an offer. The sellers lack of integrity means that buyers and agents can be hurt by this, because ignorance is NOT bliss.
Once an agent is aware of something that’s detrimental to a party, they have a legal, moral, and ethical obligation to notify the public about the issue. Once you let this listing agent know, if he tries to move forward and sell the house to a buyer who is unaware of the defect, he could be putting his license in jeopardy.
My advice to the Power Agent® was to ask the listing agent to make sure he does the right and ethical thing for the sake of our industry.
While the buyers in this situation were thankfully aware of the damage in this house and tailored their offer accordingly, the lack of integrity displayed by the seller and the ignorance of the real estate agent makes you wonder what other problems are being covered up and keeping the buyers unaware?
Raising the Bar
We, as real estate agents, need to raise the bar and display a high level of integrity for the good of the entire industry. The legal ramifications are one reason, but the fact that we are here to serve the needs of our clients and our communities is what builds our clients’ trust in us and is the reason we went into this business.
My point is this: Not everyone is going to be honest, but when it comes to the idea of “Buyer Beware”, being an agent of integrity lets buyers have faith that you have their best interests at heart and will prevent the harm that can result from a lack of integrity.
Check out this article by ISN on Home Inspections and House Prices.
Ready, Set, Go!
Are you ready to start taking things to the next level? Being an agent of integrity might not always be the easiest road, but serving our communities is why we are in this business!
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